Motorcycles Can Get Way Uncool If You Let Them
**A contributed post as written for The Safe Driver
The appeals of owning and riding a motorcycle are rather easy to understand. It allows for an exhilarating experience that cars simply can’t compete with, it’s often cheaper, and it’s simply cool. But there are a few lessons that most motorcyclists are quick to learn. There are elements of danger, inconvenience, and cost that can make it a lot less cool than you hoped it would be. If you’re aware of the risks and an adaptable rider, however, you can deal with most of them.
It’s legit dangerous
This shouldn’t be a surprise, but it still seems to be for many riders that utterly fail to take the right safety precautions when riding a motorcycle. The leather jacket and jeans look might be a very tempting proposition indeed, but it can make any spill a lot more dangerous than it needs to be. There’s a good chance you’re going to come off the bike at some point, so you need to dress for the slide, not the ride. It’s a good idea to use products like a GPS safety and tracking device to alert loved ones and the emergency services if you get involved in a serious accident. Don’t take the risk of riding lightly. It has undone a lot of people and will probably undo plenty more.
A fair-weather friend
Motorcycles aren’t the most versatile of vehicles when it comes to the weather, either. They can ride in the rain, in the snow, and in most other kinds of weather if you’re safe. But it’s rarely a fun or comfortable experience riding without cover as rainwater seems to get in just about everywhere that it can. With only two tires to them, you also have to know how to safely handle slick roads and avoid ice when possible. As for wind, it’s better to know when to quit than to try and brave it. Motorcycles start getting blown off the road a lot sooner than cars due to their relatively lightweight.
Bigger is better?
There’s another advantage that cars and other vehicles have, and that’s the sheer size of them. The size and solidity of a car allows for better cover in bad weather and a safer drive, overall, but there’s one inconvenience that happens a lot more often than that. It’s the simple lack of storage space that the majority of motorcycles provide. Some of them can have frames attached to the back, but if you’re riding for the cool factor, it’s likely you will have a chopper or a sports bike that doesn’t have that option. You have to look for new ways to add storage to your motorcycle, like a tank bag or a tail pack if you want to be able to transport anything on motorcycle.
You will take 90% of the responsibility for sharing the road
“Share the road” is something you might hear a lot when driving and you will hear it a lot more when riding a motorcycle. It means being aware of other vehicles around you and knowing to drive or ride accordingly. A driver in a car should know to be careful of their blind spots and to drive less erratically around a more vulnerable motorcyclist, just as the motorcyclist should know to give cars and bigger vehicles a lot more room. Unfortunately, most car drivers seem to think that “share the road” means “get out of my way, motorcycle”. You have to take a lot more responsibility for your safety since you are the one at more risk, which means you need to put the effort into learning real defensive driving techniques and make sure you never ride when your focus or ability to react and adapt to the road are compromised.
Your rep can come back to bite you
Motorcyclists know that they have a hard time on the road when dealing with other drivers, but the majority of the world is inclined to believe that they’re at blame for anything to go wrong. If you ride a motorcycle and you get in an accident, you will have the stigma of supposed reckless behavior against you, no matter how safely you ride. That’s why it’s important to get legit representation from lawyers experienced with motorcycles even for vehicle accidents when you are at fault. That reputation can count against you in a big enough way to mean a worse judgement and you need someone who can come to your defense rationally and has the experience to cope with the stigma you’re likely to face.
A flash in the pan
Moving on to a lighter topic, let’s talk about the fact that motorcycles don’t last as long as a car does. It’s an unfortunate reality that motorcycles have a shorter lifespan, even as they’re built to be more robust than ever. If you’re careful, it might need a replacement before you’ve really had enough time to enjoy it. For that reason, be thorough and be regular with your maintenance. You can help it live a lot longer if you’re willing to put in the work.
Don’t forget the benefits
A higher risk of injury, a less versatile vehicle, it might seem like motorcycles are getting a hard rap here. But the truth is that there are tons of benefits of riding one, too, even beyond the unique sensation that no other vehicle can provide. Overall, they cost much less to buy and much less to keep running, using less fuel, requiring fewer repairs, and costing less to get a license for. They make commutes a lot quicker and lot more fun. They’re more eco-friendly than cars. They’re even better for your health. There are numerous reasons to get a motorcycle, so don’t feel like it’s all doom and gloom.
If you’ve read all the above and you still feel the passion and the urge to get a motorcycle, then feel free. Just don’t expect it to be all “Rebel Without A Cause”, all the time. We need more responsible riders out there, not more risk factors.